Sharks: Rotation was a gamble
The rotation policy implemented by the Sharks during the Currie Cup is a gamble, but one which has paid off.
The rotation policy implemented by the Sharks during the Currie Cup is a gamble, but one which has paid off, according to forwards coach Brad Macleod-Henderson.
"There is always the risk that too many changes might have a disruptive effect," Macleod-Henderson said this week.
"But it's been a delicate balance to try and get it right and to give everyone a chance, while trying to maintain team dynamics and continuity.
"We wanted everyone to have an opportunity to play two games to show what they could do. It wasn't just giving them one chance to prove themselves."
The coastal side had been chopped and changed this season as new director of rugby Brendan Venter looked to expand the pool of experienced players and blood youngsters at the same time.
Whether it involved rotating two, three or even seven players, as was the case against the Free State Cheetahs last weekend, the on-field results had not been affected. The Sharks had won five out of seven games and were sitting on top of the log.
"We're very blessed with the number of talented players we have and we want to make sure everyone gets a chance, so they're all fresh and can give of their best.
"It's a combination of giving everyone an opportunity and building our squad and it's worked very well for us, we're very happy with it."
The rotational policy, however, would come to an end after Friday's game against the Lions in Johannesburg.
"From next week we will select what we think is our strongest team for the run-in to the semis and final," the Sharks coach said.
There were just three regular season matches remaining, with the Durbanites edging out Western Province on points difference on 24 points each. The Golden Lions were lying third on 20 points.
“We want to have a home semi and, if all goes well, a home final. We've said all along, the process and the performance is what we're really looking at," Macleod-Henderson said.
“If our performances are good enough, the log will take care of itself."
The Sharks would be without Marcell Coetzee and Pieter-Steph du Toit this weekend due to Springbok duty.
Captain Jacques Botes was also set to be rested, with Keegan Daniel deputising in his place.